TrueAchievements' Cheater Policy

What is your policy on cheats?

Some Xbox sites are quite happy to have game-savers and achievement hackers on their leaderboards. Here at TrueAchievements, our members have made it clear that we don't want these gamers included within them. Including these Gamertags distorts the scores by devaluing our TA ratios, so we want to try to remove these achievement "wins" from our equations. Therefore, it is our policy is to flag Gamertags that we find guilty of cheating, and remove their achievements from our calculations.

What happens if someone is reported to you?

We have set up a panel (called the Investigations Team, or IT for short) to look at complaints made into Gamertags, and to investigate their achievement wins for anything that looks suspicious. After a legitimate complaint is received, a member of the panel will write a report into the Gamertag, listing any achievements that they feel are dubious, and any evidence showing the Gamertag as being cheated. The report is then published to the panel, a copy is sent to the Gamertag in question on TrueAchievements and they are given the option to respond to any allegations made in the report. Once all the information from the Gamertag in question has been received, or if a week goes by without a response, the panel then vote on whether or not they feel the Gamertag has cheated.

What happens then?

If the panel are not convinced that the card has cheated/hacked achievements, the complaint is dismissed and everyone lives happily ever after. The user will retain their Full Tracking status. However, if the panel votes against the card with a large enough majority, the Gamertag will be moved to one of four different account levels on TrueAchievements:

Game Removal: The first time an account is caught cheating (or retroactively for accounts currently on NS/GS), the owner of that account may be given the opportunity to remove the cheated games from their TA account. The opportunity to remove games will be based on an agreement with the account holder that no further cheating will continue and they are willing to lose the game to retain leaderboard access. When a game is removed, its TrueAchievement score and any record of its achievements are removed from the profile on TrueAchievements. The statistics will also be removed from any leaderboards for that game. The Investigations Team will only remove 1% of the total games played (up to three total games) from any given card. For example a tag with 203 games played may only be eligible for removal of two cheated games. Accounts under 100 games played will be limited to the removal of one cheated game. If an account has had any games removed and cheats another game or is found to have cheated additional games in the past, the account may be moved to No Tracking.
  • Complete achievement tracking - excluding the removed game(s)
  • Achievements Won and Games Started will factor in site ratio calculations - excluding the removed game(s)
  • Still retains TrueAchievement Score / TA Ratio
  • Retains TrueAchievement leaderboard access with the exception of those based on GamerScore.
  • Will show in "Gamers who completed this game" lists and feed items - excluding the removed game(s)
Non-Stat: Gamertags that are found to have a small amount of cheated games on their card may be given the option of a Non-Stat account. Generally speaking they will have no more than two games on their card that show signs of cheating. The purpose of this level is to help protect users from problems after being hacked or from glitches that are not well known. However it also may be used to forgive a gamer who has repented for their cheating. Well-known problems with achievement unlocks will not have any action taken against them.
  • Complete achievement tracking
  • Achievements Won and Games Started will not factor in any site ratio calculations
  • Still retains TrueAchievement Score / TA Ratio
  • Will not place on any TrueAchievement Leaderboards
  • Will not show in "Gamers who completed this game" lists or feed items
GamerScore Only: Gamertags that are found to have a moderate number of cheated games on their card, but don’t appear to be actively cheating (or egregiously cheating). These accounts will be marked with the Gamerscore Only Tracking icon on their Gamer Homepage.
  • Complete achievement tracking
  • Achievements Won and Games Started will not factor in any site ratio calculations
  • Will not have TrueAchievement Score / TA Ratio
  • Will not place on any TrueAchievement Leaderboards
  • Will not show in "Gamers who completed this game" lists or feed items
No Tracking: Gamers who egregiously cheat will still be removed from TA scanners. While moving these accounts to GamerScore Only would work, the scanner resources are better saved for people who are not cheating. No access changes have been made to this level. These accounts will continue to be marked with the This gamer has had their achievements removed from the site icon on their Gamer Homepage.
  • No achievement tracking at all
Please note that we do not have any power to remove achievements from Xbox Live - that is solely the preserve of Microsoft.

How do you define "cheating"?

The Investigations Team uses the following guidelines: Examples of cheating (but not limited to these):
  • Using profile editors or other software to unlock achievements without playing
  • Gamesaving, which is the practice of using a save from a different Gamertag
  • Knowingly using a hacked lobby to unlock achievements
  • Profile swapping, also known as the Second Profile Glitch, which is the practice of transferring a save or game statistics from one profile to another (similar to gave saving, but both profiles have to be on the same Xbox)
  • Editing or manipulating game files
  • Using any software or patches not released by the game developer and certified by Microsoft
Examples that are not considered cheating (but not limited to these):
  • Boosting / trading kills, wins, etc
  • Switching your timezone/language
  • Offline gaming in general (provided the achievement doesn't require online access)
  • Offline gaming to avoid a title update
  • Reverting a game to a specific title update
  • Changing your Xbox date/time while offline (You Don't Know Jack / Batman)
  • System Link gaming
  • Using a turbo controller to automate grinding
  • Taking advantage of an in-game console (Fallout 3 PC)
  • Taking advantage of an in-game cheat code (most LEGO games)
  • Taking advantage of bad stats coding (Quake 4 Ranked points / Far Cry 2 de-rank)
  • Taking advantage of bad AI coding (Left 4 Dead / World at War Zombies Map Pack 3)
  • Taking advantage of bad coding in general (Left 4 Dead 2 late join)
  • Taking advantage of any developer tool
  • Playing a game prior to its release date
  • Using modded weapons (Note: Based on Microsoft's rules this could get you in trouble with them, however we could not know you have used a modded weapon)
  • Allowing others to play for you on your tag (Note: Based on Microsoft's rules this could get you in trouble with them, however we are only concerned with the legitimacy of the achievements on the tag)

How do I report someone?

If you want to report someone for gamerscore cheating, please click the Report Gamericon which can be found in the drop down menu below their gamerpic on their homepage.

I've got some achievements that glitched on my card, but these were entirely random and not done on purpose

First and foremost, the panel is not judging the gamer. They are only judging if there are illegitimate achievements on the Gamertag. We go to great lengths to ensure that we don't find against a card that has known glitches (unless Microsoft also considers them actionable). We know the Xbox and those that develop games for it aren't perfect, and sometimes weird things happen that are out of anyone's control, we don't want to penalize people in those cases.

Regarding user submitted achievement solutions

Solutions on TrueAchievements can be submitted by any site member. The review process for solutions is based on community feedback and is not managed by the Investigations Team. As such, solutions that encourage cheating may sometimes be posted. If you are unsure if any given solution is cheating or not, please post in our forum. You can find the link near the end of this page.

I've been found guilty of cheating, can I appeal?

You can post questions & comments to the Investigation Team in this forum. Remember to keep it civil. Please keep in mind that anything posted in this forum can be read by anyone on the site. If you need to contact the Investigations Manager privately you can contact them here.